AI Palette has grown massively since we spoke to Som last year when they had just started introducing their AI-based tool to food and beverage companies to streamline and aid new product innovation.
“We now have a very good grasp of the China market, where we have analysed over one billion data points, all in Mandarin,” Som told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Som has been in the business of food innovation for almost 10 years, and started AI Palette after seeing firsthand the current challenges that companies face when trying to develop successful new products.
“It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of people being involved, and it takes a lot of money – bur even after putting in so much effort the product may or may not work in the market. [That’s] why I decided to quit my job and start AI Palette, where I can use my experience and understanding of the food industry to do product innovation using AI,” he said.
Som was previously part of flavours and fragrances MNC Givaudan, and believes that his experience in a big firm greatly benefitted him when it came to starting his own company.
“I was lucky to work in a flavour house at the start of my career, as the flavour houses are the innovators when it comes to launching new product ideas and flavours, so I have seen the product innovation process across different food categories [and] I know the parameters to take into account which make the AI solution more relevant for F&B companies,” he told us.
“It’s relatively easier when you’re representing a brand and go to a customer. When you’re on your own, you don’t have the backing of a big brand, so it will be all about the value that your solution can provide to the customer.
“Also, when in a big organisation, you have a lot of support but here, you need to do things yourself and get your hands dirty – but that also makes things more interesting and fulfilling.”
Recently, other bigger companies have also launched tools which are similar to AI Palette’s, but Som emphasised that this is in fact a good thing.
“When a bigger company launches a product [using such a tool], it’s also good for us as it creates a lot of awareness in the whole ecosystem about using AI for product innovation. So I would say that that is really welcome,” he said.
“I am creating something which no one has done before – If I am successful, I’ll end up changing a whole industry, a very old industry with very traditional [methods] will be completely changed when we can use AI for product innovation.”
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